The Battle Against A.I.
A Few Thoughts On The Yet-To-Be-Ratified WGA Deal
It’s Tuesday evening, September 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, and it’s a good night.
It feels like a rock has been lifted off my chest, and everyone in Los Angeles has rounded a corner in Hollywood’s labor actions. SAG-AFTRA still needs a fair deal, but I hope the deal the WGA has secured will help pave the way to get back into production. This city, and this industry needs it.
I’ve read the deal, and it’s got wonderful increases for us, and many of the protections we were looking for that were not strictly about numbers. Generative artificial intelligence has been the talk of the town for a long time. Let’s look at where that landed. The green shaded boxes on the right are what we earned while empowering our leaders during our strike.
Now, this is grabbed from the abridged version of the longer agreement and there’s one very interesting line in here that I haven’t seen much attention on. Not only is A.I. not a writer, but A.I. generated written material is not literary material as defined by this agreement but it’s also not source material.
That sound you hear is a lot of A.I. generated comic books being dragged to the trash, if the goal was to attempt to do what comics creators do without being a comics creator. Not labeling A.I. as source material has many other protections for WGA writers in Hollywood. Comics is not covered literary material however, between this important stand, and the US Copyright Office taking a pass on protecting A.I. material…I think the folks in our replies who have been casually advocating for our economic destruction will need to reconsider their options.
One other matter to enjoy and not speed past in the screen-grab above: is there a better illustration of our power then going from the AMPTP saying “We’ll call you” in May to the kinds of protections we ultimately won? I’m not a lawyer, but I’m certain there are a lot of other wins for us meatbags in this language.
Kudos to the A.I. Committee at the WGA and our senior leadership. I’m grateful and impressed. You might think I’m switching gears in our next sentence, but hold tight - I’m on topic.
On Monday October 2, 2023 David O’Sullivan the final print orders for PALADIN OF AXES are due into Lunar Distribution.
This is not just a plug — but do please pre-order the comic. I shout it out in this space because I wanted you to see how our indicia ends:
Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events, or places, without satirical intent, is coincidental. None of the material contained in this work may be used, exploited, or otherwise incorporated as input in any generative artificial intelligence technology without the express written consent of Gerry Duggan and David O'Sullivan. Any such use will be treated as plagiarism. Printed in the USA.
Artificial intelligence might get good. It might not, but if my collaborations are fed into a pool of ones and zeroes, then…
…what are my collaborations worth?
Until my lawyer says I’m happy, I am not. And neither should you.
There are meetings tomorrow in New York and Los Angeles and Los Angeles tomorrow evening, and I expect this deal to be ratified by strong majority. I’m voting yes. Grateful to our Negotiating Committee, both boards, the support staff, and all the union folks and pre-WGA folks who picketed this year. SAG, you’re up to bat next and IATSE is on deck.
More comics tomorrow morning. Tonight is a good night.
All the best,
PS - My photo book Timing/Luck is available in limited quantities after fulfilling my crowdfunding effort.
And while my comps last — I’m signing a couple of random comics and placing them in the package. You might get a 1:100 Chrome Scotch McTiernan, or an X-Men comic, or you might even get the rare Batman comic I didn’t even wright — who knows!?
PPS - Any orders over the course of the next 3 weeks will be fulfilled in late October.